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Codec PICVideo

PICVideo is a MJPEG codec which makes it possible to reduce frame size of almost half without visible quality loss. The video rate for a capture into VideoCD format (352x288, 16bits, 25fps) passes from 4500KB/s without compression to 2700KB/s ; it's perfect for IDE ATA66 7200rpm hard drive.

Although quality loss isn't visible, MJPEG compression artifacts aren't very well adapted to further calculations like MPEG-1 encoding ; in most case compared to Indeo and Huffyuv codecs.

For MPEG-2 (SVCD), it seems that this PICVideo is appropriate with few loss at Q=18 or Q=16 if you capture at 768x576 (or 768x480 for NTSC), compression ratio is up to 15:1 (Q=18) and 30:1 (Q=16). Let's take a look at SVCD capture testing I did.

Where to find it ?

It's downloadable from Pegasus Imaging at PICVideo Motion JPEG. Version 2 registration was free (PICVIDEO2), now it's $18 but worth it.

How to use it ?

Once installed it will be accessible from most video editing software like Virtual DUB. With Studio, the PICVideo codec is not accessible for decoding but it is for encoding AVI.

With Virtual DUB, configured with a maximum quality (20), the video rate passes from 4500KB/s to 2700KB/s.

As it isn't recognized for decoding by Studio, it's then necessary to convert AVI files with Virtual DUB by using the null filter and choosing Microsoft, Indeo, Huffyuv or Pinnacle (miro-XL) codec or uncompressed video.

PICVideo v3 released !

June 18th, 2004: Pegasus Imaging announces PICVideo M-JPEG Codec v3 to hundreds of thousands of users! PICVideo continues to offer the fastest M-JPEG video compression and decompression in the world.

Version 3 adds new features and improves the quality of M-JPEG video:

Adjust Brightness & Contrast During Playback
Version 3 offers the ability to adjust the contrast and brightness of video streams during playback. If a video is too dark or doesn’t have enough contrast, it can be adjusted on-the-fly, similar to the way it’s adjusted on a television.
Patent-Pending, Advanced Deblocking of Highly Compressed Video
Pegasus Imaging’s patent-pending deblocking technology removes JPEG compression blocks on highly compressed video. PICVideo v3 users can enable JPEG deblocking on playback to improve quality. PICVideo is the only video codec that provides smoothing of highly compressed M-JPEG videos. This unique feature offers higher compression with less image distortion.
Correct YUV Encoding
PICVideo v3 corrects widespread misuse of the YUV video colorspace by correcting the chroma and luma ranges. Many codecs have been encoding YUV videos incorrectly. PICVideo v3 encodes these videos correctly, resulting in sharper, crisper colors.
Restores Improperly Encoded YUV Videos During Playback
PICVideo v3 will restore improperly encoded YUV videos and normalize improperly encoded UYVY to the correct range. Videos that currently appear washed out with less contrast will have their colors correctly restored.
New YV12 and IYUV/I420 Support
PICVideo v3 now encodes and decodes YV12 and IYUV/I420 colorspaces. The codec will report at runtime in Video for Windows and DirectShow that YV12 and IYUV/I420 are supported formats for both compression and playback.
Choose Interleave Field Order
PICVideo v3 now offers the option to set the field order of interleaved frames. The odd or even field can start first.


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Back to home page Version of the document: 1.1EN Created it: December 16 - 2000 Updated it: June 18 - 2004 Author: Leon